Carbondale set for end of pot prohibition
Ryan Summerlin January 13, 2014
CARBONDALE — Following the lead of voters across Colorado and in the town of Carbondale, the town will hold two public hearings this week to decide whether the Doctor’s Garden medical marijuana dispensary can expand to offer recreational pot for sale and thus end nearly a century of prohibition against the open sale of pot in Carbondale.
Doctor’s Garden, 580 Main St., Suite 300, has been selling medical marijuana to patients since mid-2010, and late last year became the first local medical marijuana business to apply for permission to “grow” the business to include recreational pot.
Tonight, trustees will hear from the applicant, James R. Leonard and his two partners, Robert Pinchuck and Alan Bonsett, and their intent to do business of both types — medical and recreational — from the same location.
“If we get the go-ahead from the trustees on Tuesday night, we’ll open for recreational business on Wednesday morning,” said Leonard.
On Thursday, the P&Z will consider whether to grant Doctor’s Garden a license to grow its own recreational weed at the same location, on the north end of town, where it has been growing its stock for the medical marijuana side of things.
Under state law, the business must grow 70 percent of the pot that is to be sold through the store on Main Street, and must obtain a special use permit for the recreational cultivation license. Leonard said the law permits him to transfer product and plants from his medical cultivation operation, to the budding recreational cultivation side. So he will sell medical marijuana as recreational pot for a matter of weeks until his recreational crop begins to mature.
Carbondale Town Clerk Cathy Derby said on Monday that the town has received no further applications from medical marijuana purveyors who want to expand into the recreational line, although the two other dispensaries in town — The Center and CMed — have indicated they are looking into the switch.
Beyond that, Derby said, the town has received a “letter of interest” from a man named Andrew “Gus” Ukraine, of Aspen, who has informed Derby that he wants to open up a split shop, selling both medical and recreational marijuana.
Derby said that, under the municipal code, Ukraine must either hire a manager who lives in Carbondale or move to Carbondale himself. She said he indicated a willingness to move.
In addition to the residency requirement, she said, because Ukraine does not already operate a medical marijuana dispensary, the town code requires that he must wait until July 1 before he can formally apply for his business license.